The weekend before Christmas, I was at a brunch and several of us got to talking about our elves and their adventures. A friend started telling a story that I simply cannot do justice, but will try...
The dad was in charge of the elf. One night, he put the elf on a lamp-- with the light on. He wanted to make sure the kids could see it. Yeah, already-- you know where this is going.
Oh, the kids saw it.
The bottom half of Elf was charred to a crisp and the top half was Elf with that smile plastered to his face, lacking the knowledge that there would be no chance of Elf babies anymore. The kids screamed at the site of the smoking pixie. Dad ran up front to see what the shrieks were all about. Upon laying his eyes on the red clad ember, he grabbed the elf before the smoke alarm really set things off. The kids screamed louder. Parents and kids alike know the rules-- touching the elf makes him lose his magic and he cannot make his report to Santa.
Dad didn't know those rules, or maybe at the thought of the house burning down because of a poorly executed Christmas tradition, didn't want that little ember rushing off to the Big Man to report on Dad's poor planning- with evidence. So, the kids screamed.
Mom came up front to see the howling children, the husband's singed hand and a half molten elf, with the smoke alarm on the cusp of exploding this bad situation into something terrible.
The smoke alarm was blinking.
"Kids, calm down. Look up. See that blinking red light? Like Rudolph's nose? That light means we still have our connection with the North Pole. Wave! Quickly wave to it so they know we are here. Grab that towel and wave it. We're going to take Elf to the burn unit and get him all stitched up in time to get back to the North Pole tonight. They'll be able to replenish his magic that he lost."
Those parents now have an elf, a spare, and half of a second spare for when parts are needed. Just not the legs. Those are gone.